Perspective

quotes-about-perception

It’s funny how wildly different one person’s idea of a bad day can be from another’s. And by “funny” I mean tragic.

This morning I read a short travel story entitled: The Flight from Hell, amid a collection in the book I’m currently reading. It would take a pile of harrowing and painful occurrences for me to even consider branding a travel experience with that honorific stamp. I’m pretty sure those hanging oxygen bags said to drop down in the event the cabin loses air pressure would need to be deployed. It might even take an unscheduled water landing for me to start pondering the merits of later telling my friends and family that I had, in fact, had the “flight from hell.”

I can only assume that the fellow who penned the story had lived a charmed life before his fateful trip from Jamaica to L.A. And perhaps his perspective had been so incredibly skewed by having never encountered real suffering that he simply had no frame of reference. I kept waiting for the hellish part to present itself. Then the story ended, leaving me still waiting. His idea of a “flight from hell” was basically the equivalent of a minor paper cut.

I’m hoping that upon discovering that his travel story is sandwiched in-between accounts of other writers having been ping-ponged over middle-eastern borders and arrested promptly in each new country, swarmed by army ants and hand-sized tarantulas falling from the ceiling, stranded at sea off the Java coast surrounded by vomit, and rafting down a river full of sewage he came to realize that his “flight from hell”, which literally amounted to sitting on the tarmac for 90 minutes at LAX and then having to wait 10 minutes for his luggage to arrive, sorta paled in comparison.

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Present Moment, Wonderful (Rainy) Moment

Weather photo from the Missoulian from Sept. 3rd. By Carson C., 10 years old. (I'm pretty sure the words on the right say Noodles Express :)

Weather pic from the Missoulian by 10 year old Carson C. – the words on the right say Noodles Express :)

Yesterday morning I woke up at 4:00am to the wonderful sound of rain outside.  Situated here in the Rocky Mountains we’ve been in the midst of a very active fire season this year, along with our northwestern neighbors of Idaho and Washington.  While fire season is nothing new around these parts I was reading in the news that the severity of our air quality has been the most troublesome its been in over 10 years.  And, the article noted, fire season isn’t over for us yet.  We got a little reprieve from our dry, smokey conditions by getting some much needed rain yesterday, with lower than average temperatures rolling in.

I had such a lovely morning yesterday – listening to the rain, sipping tea, and starting a new book I was eager to read.  My living room window was open and the cool, dark morning air sifted in along with the sweet sound of the rain.  I opened the front door and the rich fragrance of wet earth was simply amazing.  On Wednesday I had stopped to smell some beautiful roses whose scent was similar in nature – incredible beyond words.  Breathing in deeply the perfumed morning air yesterday a thought arose, Never before have I inhaled such a wonderful aromatic bouquet!   And then I remembered thinking the same thing about the roses from the day before.  One of the things I most appreciate about having a mindfulness practice is the power to transform everyday situations into precious moments – where every rose and rainstorm have the ability to be the best smelling rose and rainstorm ever.  I am so grateful for being in touch with a practice whose foundation is that each present moment has the capacity to be the most wonderful moment.

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